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Political persistence and economic growth


  • Bellettini, Giorgio
  • Berti Ceroni, Carlotta
  • Prarolo, Giovanni


Using data for a panel of 62 partly to fully democratic countries in the period 1984–2008, we provide evidence that political persistence (measured as the longest tenure in office of main political entities) is negatively associated with growth, after controlling for country and time fixed effects, and that this association is stronger in countries with low bureaucratic quality, where the cost of red tape is high. This evidence can be rationalized by means of a growth model with quality improvements where political connections with politicians can be exploited by low-quality producers to mitigate red tape costs, defend their monopoly position and prevent entry of higher-quality competitors. The model implies a negative relationship between persistence in office of politicians and economic growth in high red-tape countries, while no association is expected where red tape costs are low.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellettini, Giorgio & Berti Ceroni, Carlotta & Prarolo, Giovanni, 2013. "Political persistence and economic growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 165-179.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:31:y:2013:i:c:p:165-179
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2013.05.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Fałkowski & Grażyna Bukowska, 2016. "Monopolizacja władzy a wyniki gospodarcze na poziomie Polski lokalnej," Gospodarka Narodowa, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 2, pages 91-120.
    2. Christopher Hartwell, 2015. "Political Volatility and Capital Markets: Evidence from Transition," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2015-15, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Mar 2015.

    More about this item


    Political persistence; Economic growth; Red tape;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption


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